International Bookworm Meme

IBWM #2 – The Life of an International Book Blogger

It is Saturday and today it is time for the international bookworm meme as hosted by Ayla from Books & Babbles that I am participating in.

We will be talking about the life of an international book blogger and for a while I stared at this prompt because I had no idea how to approach this. Luckily at least Ayla provided us with some inspiring questions and I ended up choosing a bit of a direction.

As you might know I am Dutch. I live in the Netherlands. I made the concious choice to blog in English and as such become an international book blogger. While I quite love this choice as it keeps my English somewhat fresh and I have met some great international friends this way, it also doesn’t make everything quite as simple. Below I have touched upon a few subjects that have to do with this.

The Language

Untitled As mentioned above I am Dutch. It is the language that I am fluent in though I wouldn’t ever suggest that I don’t make mistakes in it. English is one that I mostly learned myself as by the time I got it in high school I already had a firm grasp on it from BBC. The down point to this is that I think I picked up some wrong spellings and such along the way that is hard to unlearn at a later age.

Making this blog in English keeps me active in using this languge and it is the only language out of the 4 I’ve learned or started learning that I consider myself relatively good at. In case you are wondering, the other three are German, French and Chinese. I have forgotten a lot of those, though I still have my Chinese folders.

I know this blog is certainly not free of any spelling or grammar mistakes. I don’t think I can really expect that of myself. But writing the blog in English doesn’t make blogging any harder for me than blogging in Dutch would be. Since I’ve been doing things online in English for so long it is just normal for me to do things in English.

To Request or to Not Request…

One of the things that I don’t do is request review copies from Dutch publishers. They obviously publish books in Dutch. As I blog in English I feel that I am not reaching their intended target. While I do have a decent portion of Dutch viewers, my stats tell me, I don’t think that warrants enough reason to request review copies. I also don’t think I nessecarily need it. I have a lot of own books I still need to read, I can use the library now and there is always the read now portion of Netgalley, haha.

What are your opinions on this?

Is there jealousy or envy to see US or Dutch bloggers get (physical) review copies? I would be lying if I didn’t ever think that ‘wow, I would like to read that anticipated release in advance’. But I rarely give that a second thought and I am glad other people get those opportunities. And I have gotten some great opportunities through Netgalley as well.

English Books in (Book) Stores and Library

Our book stores obviously focus on books in Dutch, by Dutch authors or translated. But most book stores also have a small section of English books. The one in my city sometimes has new releases, like it had The Extinction Trails in January, but most often not the books that I’d like to buy.

In the nearby city there are two other book stores that I visit from time to time and their section is a little bigger. They are also more likely to have newer (hyped up) releases. But hardcovers of English books are not often found. For 95% it is paperbacks.

In the Netherlands we do have a Waterstones in Amsterdam as I talked about before. There is also The American Book Store in Amsterdam and The Hague. They only sell English books. They are however quite a bit away from me. So a lot of my book purchasing happens online.

As for my library they have a section of about four shelves of English books which is more than I initially suspected. However a lot of these are classics, literary fiction, crime and romance novels. There is really no fantasy there so only a few of the classics (and the Comoran Strike books) were of interest to me there.

Paying the Price

Untitled

Books are expensive. You might know this if you are a book hoarder, like me. Translated books are even more expensive. A translated young adult paperback can go from 17 to 20 Euro where the English paperback is 9 to 12 Euro. That is a difference. Lets not even talk about adult fantasy translated paperbacks. I’ve seen new Robin Hobb books go for 28 Euro. Yikes. But I get it. I know why they are more expensive. But that makes it hard as a book blogger to support the Dutch publishing system as my wallet cannot sustain the habit, haha. So I shift between Dutch and English.

Libraries are also not free here if you are 18 years and older. You pay between 40 to 60 Euro for a variation of three or four 1 year subscriptions.

If you are a book blogger from a non-English speaking country, how are some of these things for you?

19 thoughts on “IBWM #2 – The Life of an International Book Blogger

  1. when i lived in Hungary, getting English books was a struggle
    it was 10 years ago, and kindle was not a thing then
    do you have access to amazon uk? kindle books on it are really cheap most of the time

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sucks. I hope you are able to get all the books you want now!

      No. I do not have paypa or a credit card. Plus with Kindle I can only read thorugh the app or the computer and those are not my favorite things haha.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t read translation, so I had no idea the price difference was that big! I did use to read the Dutch editions when I was younger of course, but I just didn’t realise it back then, since mostly I got books from my mom or grandparents and if I did buy them myself I didn’t know the original was cheaper haha.
    While I do sometimes feel envious of for example US bloggers getting certain (physical) ARCs, it doesn’t really frustrate me. The library on the other hand… hahaha I’m SO jealous of all the countries in the world that have great, free libraries!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup the price difference is pretty big unfortunately. đŸ˜Ļ

      Oh yes. I’m jealous that they get all the new releases in the library so soon haha. I had to wait so long for Warcross to appear in my library.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I so didn’t knew what to say either xD I just went from ; okay. so I did the bad side rant already … how about I just, tell my story now, I guess ?
    and yeah exactly ! ahah practicing our english is always a good thing – we wont lose it that way, or less anyway, as we constantly remind our brains.

    oh wow 4 languages.. and here I am having struggles with half of that ! ahaha but eeeh, if you wanna practice your french.. I could help 😘

    Im the same way .. I don’t get physical books although canada is not too far from US, but hey. atleast I get ebooks ones. im not too bothered, so far nothing is really had me like “!!! I WANNA KEEP THAT ONE & reread !!!” either, soo .. all is good !
    Oh what ! That’s not fair .. I needed a ID to get a new card, but it was still free for me to use the library at 23 o.o I mean .. I know they must pay their costs somehow but …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I suck at French though. I think I forgot everything already after I stopped taking it in high school. But thank you for the offer. ❤

      True. If I really liked the e arc I can always buy the finished copy and support the author that way. 😉

      Yeah it really sucks. But it is what it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I think you do a stellar job! There are some US bloggers whose grammar isn’t as good as yours. I really don’t know how you do it. I had a message on the Harry Potter Facebook page that I co-admin, from a French Canadian admin on another fandom page, and I was surprised I had retained enough French to respond to her, but I’m sure I sounded like a cave woman. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Completely the same for me in Belgium. I believe there is a Waterstones in Brussels, though I have never been. I also really want to visit the Waterstones and American Book Store in the Netherlands as well. But yes, they are expensive, and the libraries don’t hold much except for classics.

    A lot of us are international bloggers using English as their second language, so I don’t think a lot of us care if your writing isn’t flawless! We all make mistakes, do we not? â™Ĩ

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ik ben veel te ontzeker om in het Engels te bloggen. Lezen is geen probleem maar ik heb teveel schrik om fouten te maken Ên reageer dus meestal ook gewoon in het Nederlands. Wie weet probeer ik wel eens in het Engels te antwoorden wanneer ik terugkom uit Londen Ên mijn Engels wat is opgefrist. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Same story in Belgium. Not a lot of bookstores have a decent selection of English books. Fnac has some and there’s a Waterstones in Brussels. Lately the Standaard is also trying to expand their English books but.. Like you said, it’s all paperbacks and I quite like my hardcovers? Not to mention sequels to books I already own should simply be the same format. I hate it when those differ, haha. Buying books is definitely a case of ordering online for me.

    As for the library.. I only read in English since a couple of years and our libraries do not have a lot of “new” releases at all. The most recent one I found a couple of months back dated back to 2015 so.. Yeah.

    I never request review copies from Belgian / Dutch publishers. It’d feel wrong since I blog in English and prefer reading in English too. Last time I picked up a Dutch book it even felt ridiculously weird, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same. Hardcovers are so pretty. And I need mine to match as much as possible too.

      Oh ouch yeah. I think they got Inferno here? But they only recently added Game of Thrones to their English section haha.

      Yeah I feel the same way. I don’t mind reading in Dutch but it is weird when I have to go back and forth between a series between the two languages haha.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! The last hardcover I completely drooled over is Children of Blood and Bone. The naked cover of that one is just gorgeous! You don’t get that with paperbacks at all.

        I don’t remember seeing the GoT-books but I guess those’d be gone all the time anyway and.. well.. I own those so I wouldn’t need to get them at the library anyway, haha.

        Oh god no. That’s something I even refuse doing. :’) I went as far as buying myself the English HP’s because I don’t want to reread them in Dutch. I’ve even put aside The Mortal Instruments because I want the English ones instead, haha.
        The only Dutch book I currently own is that of Monica Haak since she wrote a book in Dutch and I really want to read it at some point. I thik that’s the only Dutch book I own – apart from the HP’s because I’m not getting rid of those ever. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

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